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Condemnation Victory for the Signal Hill Redevelopment Agency

Unanimous Verdict Returned in Valuation Trial

Partner Sunny K. Soltani received a unanimous jury verdict in favor of the Signal Hill Redevelopment Agency in December 2007 in an eminent domain action which involved a contaminated property with abandoned oil wells

In this case, the property owner had initially challenged the Agency’s right to condemn the property.  Ms. Soltani successfully filed a Motion for Summary Adjudication on the right to take issue.  The property owner and the Agency were approximately 1.5 million dollars apart in their valuation of the Property.  As part of their defense, the property owner argued that because, as part of the bigger Agency project, the Agency was not re-abandoning the oil wells on this property, no deductions should have been made against the value of the property.  Through a series of motions in limine Ms. Soltani successfully disposed of this argument.  The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Agency.